This blog is officially open for business! We’re making moves here! Or, I’ve decided to finally just smash out some of these mostly-prepped and dormant TTM Report drafts which have been lingering. We’ll see if I can muster up the stuff to write new posts. For now, it’s time to look at what showed up last June.
J.R. Towles: 1/1
The first thing to float into the mailbox last June was a J.R. Towles autograph via a private signing. Sure, I have a few certified Towles autographs already, and he’s mostly notable for an 8-RBI game on September 20, 2007, just two weeks after his major league debut, which set the club record. But also, this signing was just five bucks, and it meant that I got to choose what would end up in the Astro-graph binder. I went with this lovely 2008 Stadium Club – a first edition parallel, at that! While in-person autographs will almost always take the top slot, a nice TTM or private signing return will bump a certified auto from the binder any day. I’m quite happy with this one.
Stan Bahnsen: 1/1, 36 days
The first bonafide TTM return of June 2021 was from 1968 AL Rookie of the Year, Stan Bahnsen. I (naturally) selected a lovely 1981 Fleer for my Bahnsen Burner autograph. Stan has a strict 1 item limit, and I’m planning to write him again soon so that this can join its ’81 Fleer brethren instead of residing in the ROY pages.
Andre Dawson: 1/1, 11 days (with fee)
Speaking of that 1981 Fleer – I finally got the gumption to write The Hawk once more, adding this lovely card to the ’81 Fleer, uh, chase? It’s not really a chase, but it kind of is a chase. Anyhow, Dawson has one of the most aesthetically pleasing signatures I have acquired, and adding it to this Fleerific beauty was awesome. 10/10, would do it again. Well, if I write Hawk again it’ll probably be the 1991 Fleer combo card with Sandberg. But who knows?
Milt Thompson: 3/3, 12 days
I was pretty pumped to finally get this short-term ‘Stro on an Astros card. As a youngster I had Milt sign some cards in person with a red Sharpie – it was a phase, and not a good one. There are several autographs from the period which I look at with mild disdain – for myself, not the card. It came out okay with his Cardinals cards, but I’m quite happy to replace those with a proper Astro-graph. Mothers Cookies cards are always awesome signed, but I dig the look of ’89 Topps and ’91 Topps inked up as well – and these are two excellent examples.
Manny Acta: 3/3, 33 days
I wrote Manny care of the Mariners, where he was part of Scott Servais’ coaching staff. I was admittedly surprised when I picked up an Astros minor league card with Acta on it in a trade. He had a brief stint as an Astros minor leaguer from 1987 to 1991, making it to AA ball, but hanging up his cleats at the ripe old age of 22. It must have been evident really early on that he wouldn’t hit big league pitching, but that he was good with a clubhouse, because in 1993 he became a minor league manager at just 23 years old. I love that he not only adds his uniform number in the flourish on his signature, but that he also changes it to match the card. It’s the little things.
So last June was a small batch, but a lovely one: two Astro-graph upgrades, two 1981 Fleer cards, a Hall of Famer, and a new Rookie of the Year in the books. Not bad at all.